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Holidaymaker successfully recovers £11,200 compensation for Hotel Accident in Turkey

Tour operator Thomas Cook thought it could just sit back and do nothing because the accident occurred abroad!

Simpson Millar LLP’s specialist travel solicitors successfully recovered compensation for a holidaymaker who fractured her arm in 5 places following a holiday accident when she slipped and fell at a Hotel in Turkey.

Mrs McGill was staying at the Hotel Hisar Holiday Club in Turkey when she sustained a serious injury which led to a holiday compensation claim against her tour operator MyTravel (now part of Thomas Cook Tour Operations Ltd).

She had been shopping with her husband and returned to the hotel laden by 2 shopping bags. It had been a hot day and so they stopped for 20 minutes for refreshments at the Hotel terrace bar before returning to their apartment.

The accident occurred around 11 am - Mrs McGill had not got very far when suddenly and without warning she slipped and fell landing on her left hand side falling forwards on what was described at the trial as a marble floor.

She suffered immediate and excruciating pain - her shorts were wet and there were puddles all around her. She realised that she had slipped on water and gave evidence that there were no signs in place to warn her that cleaning had taken place. The nurse who attended to her was disgusted at the amount of water on the floor – she stated that it was an accident waiting to happen.

On admission to hospital upon her return to the UK, Mrs McGill was advised that she would probably never regain full mobility in her arm – at the trial she had reduced grip. She also stated that she had difficulty carrying bags and other heavy objects.

The tour operator denied responsibility for the holiday accident relying on what is now commonly termed the 'local standards defence' – claiming that British Health and Safety standards where irrelevant – and it was for Mrs McGill to produce evidence that the hotel’s cleaning system fell below the local Turkish standard.

Despite Thomas Cook’s vast resources, staff on the ground, Turkish suppliers etc., Thomas Cook simply sat back and did nothing, insisting that Mrs McGill had to produce this evidence herself, ie that wet floor warning signs were required by local Turkish regulatory standards or customs.

The trial Judge however found that 'as cleaning was under the control of the hotelier…..and the holiday accident was such that in the ordinary course of things it would not have happened if those who managed the hotel had used proper care, it afforded reasonable evidence in the absence of an explanation by the defendant that the accident arose from want of care…'.

As Thomas Cook gave no evidence that the hotel had not been negligent, the judge held that Mrs McGill’s holiday accident claim should succeed. Mrs McGill received £11,200 in compensation for her injuries.

Simpson Millar Solicitors are pleased to report that the principles applied in Ward v Tesco Stores [1976] 1 All ER 219 appear to be very much alive in holiday accident compensation claims.

If you have suffered a holiday accident call today on Freephone: 0808 145 1353 or drop us a line using the form above.

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Dated: 15/04/2010

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